Portland: Carl Skerlong preview

Rose Cup Double Victory Boosts Skerlong Ahead of Portland Mukilteo, Washington (June 05, 2007) -- Following a six week layoff the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda finally roars back into life...

Rose Cup Double Victory Boosts Skerlong Ahead of Portland

Mukilteo, Washington (June 05, 2007) -- Following a six week layoff the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda finally roars back into life this weekend, Friday 8th -- Sunday 10th June, with Rounds 4 and 5 hosted at the Portland International Raceway (PIR), Portland, Oregon.

Seattle's Carl Skerlong, driver of the #24 King Taco / US RaceTronics entry, is particularly thrilled that the first of two double-header meetings on the 12-round schedule is being hosted at the 1.964-mile permanent road course in Portland. The reigning Formula TR Pro Series 2000 Champion, the leading American-born rookie in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship, regards the PIR track as 'home' having won there on numerous occasions throughout his burgeoning open-wheel racing career.

Last weekend's SCCA 47th Annual Rose Cup race meeting, 2nd-3rd June, hosted the 18-year-old's most recent victories at the Portland track. Having scored a National and Regional victory at the same event a year ago, behind the wheel of a Formula Mazda racer, Skerlong returned this year armed with a US RaceTronics-entered Formula Atlantic Swift 014, the predecessor to the 300bhp Swift 016.a Mazda-Cosworth the American races in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship.

Proving to be a master in his class at the Rose Cup for a second straight year, Carl romped to a class victory in the 30-minute National event on Saturday, holding a 40 second lead having lapped everyone up to fifth, before backing his efforts up on Sunday with an equally dominating performance in the 25-minute Regional event, taking the checkered with a 56 second advantage having lapped the field through to the second place finisher.

Carl recently shattered the Portland lap record in a DSR National Class event, scoring another win for West Race Cars in the factory-backed WR-1000, and with victories and additional race starts at PIR in the Formula TR Pro Series and Star Mazda Series, the soon to be graduating high school senior boasts an impressive record at the Oregon track. Heading back to Portland later this week aiming to maintain not only his success streak at PIR but also the momentum that led to his maiden Champ Car Atlantic podium in April's third round in Houston, where he finished second, Skerlong is keen to get going as the series gears up for a busy couple of months.

"I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things," stated Carl. "Houston seems like a long time ago but I'm keen to ensure we keep our momentum going having had such a competitive outing there. I love the Portland International Raceway, I regard it as my home track and it felt pretty good to take another couple of wins there last weekend ahead of the Atlantic double-header. It's good to get back onto a permanent road course after the first three street races. I don't have to worry about learning the track this time round and hopefully we'll be on it straight out of the box!"

Round 4 starts in Portland on Saturday 9th June at 12:15pm PST with Round 5 staring on Sunday 10th June at 11am PST. Both races will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Monday 18th June starting at 5pm EST.

-credit: www.cskerlong.com

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Carl Skerlong